POLICE hunting for a missing US teenager who was last seen screaming and bleeding being dragged across a highway by an armed man are now searching a remote area in California for her.
Police are combing the Sonoma Coast State Park, in northern California, for any sign of Pearl Pinson, 15, after she was abducted while walking to school last week.
Detectives from the Solano County Sheriff’s Office said that new leads had led them to believe Pinson might be in the area, but refused to say what information had been uncovered.
Police spokeswoman Christine Castillo said: “Our number one priority is to bring her home to her family, and we do believe that is possible.
“There are indications she could be possibly injured, and that is still a concern. We want to locate her and get her any medical attention she needs.”
Police on foot and helicopters were spotted searching a six-kilometre area of the park near the mouth of the Russian River, the Press Democrat reported.
Police have been searching for Pinson since a witness reported seeing her being dragged across a freeway last Wednesday morning in the town of Vallejo by a man police believe was Fernando Castro, 19.
Blood and Pinson’s mobile phone were found on the pedestrian overpass where she was taken.
Police caught up with Castro the following day after he was spotted driving through Santa Barbara county, hundreds of kilometres to the south, before he attempted to flee.
Castro shot at officers and then drove to a caravan park where he attempted to get into a different car before being shot dead, according to police.
Police believe that Castro and Pinson knew each other, though the exact nature of their relationship remains unclear.
Rose Pinson, the missing girl’s older sister, said she had heard Castro’s name but had never met him and described him as an acquaintance, according to the Vallejo Times-Herald.